The lives of people with mental health conditions are often plagued by stigma as well as discrimination. Stigma is a negative stereotype. Stigma is a reality for many people with a mental illness, and is one of their greatest barriers to live an enjoyable life.
What you can do to stop stigma and discrimination:-
Use the STOP criteria to recognize attitudes and actions that support the stigma of mental health conditions. It’s easy; just ask yourself if what you hear:
- Stereotypes people with mental health conditions (that is, assumes they are all alike rather than individuals)?
- Trivializes or belittles people with mental health conditions and/or the condition itself?
- Offends people with mental health conditions by insulting them?
- Patronizes people with mental health conditions by treating them as if they were not as good as other people?
If you see something in the media, which does not pass the STOP criteria, speak up! Call or write to the writer or publisher of the newspaper, magazine or book; the radio, TV or movie producer; or the advertiser who used words which add to the misunderstanding of mental illness. Help them realize how their words affect people with mental health conditions.
You should also start with yourself. Be thoughtful about your own choice of words. Use accurate and sensitive words when talking about people with mental health conditions.
Please remember there is no health without mental health.
Fight Against Mental Illness Stigma Now!
Thank You! (Karen Byfield)